Ban garners almost as many signatures as voted in last election
EagleRidge response to evidence of their pollution exemplifies need for a ban
Denton, Texas, May 7 — Today the Denton Drilling Awareness Group submitted for certification to the City Council 1,871 signatures in support of a fracking ban within Denton city limits. 2,200 people voted in the last municipal election.
“These signatures represent Denton citizens of every political stripe coming together to protect their homes and families from the fracking industry,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued, “I worked with the City for years to improve fracking oversight, to no avail. It’s clear this industry will do whatever it can get away with, and the City is paralyzed by the fear of the political consequences of reining it in. A fracking ban is our last and only option.”
Upon receipt of the petition, the City Secretary has twenty days to validate the signatures. Then the City Council must call a public hearing and within sixty days vote on the petition. If approved, it becomes law. If rejected, Denton registered voters consider it as a ballot initiative – likely during the November general election.
“We hope the Council will vote to approve the ban,” said Ed Soph of the Denton DAG. He continued, “But at a minimum, we hope they’ll respect their constituents, and allow the Denton residents to vote on the ban, not try to block it on a legal technicality.”
Last week, members of Denton Drilling Awareness Group released infrared videos and a summa canister test of VOC pollution from EagleRidge fracking operations to demonstrate that the City of Denton is failing to keep its promises to monitor pollution from fracking operations. The city did not publicly respond to the evidence of its failure. EagleRidge responded by claiming the tests weren’t conducted properly, and even if they were, there was no evidence that residents were exposed to carcinogens for long enough to threaten their health.
In less than a year, Denton residents have filed 73 separate complaints about EagleRidge operations. In no case was EagleRidge cited for a violation.
“We need to ban fracking in Denton precisely because the City’s non-response to their failures typifies its oversight of fracking,” said Earthworks organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “The City’s failure to protect its citizens is publicized, and who addresses the accusation of failure? The company. In Denton, the tail wags the dog. And we the people are tired of being wagged by the fracking industry.”